What Is Equipotential Grounding?

According to Perry Crabb, equipotential grounding is an engineering maneuver in which all conductive surfaces of a hospital room are bonded to each other and to the Earth. This process is essential to preventing stray voltage that could affect vital medical equipment and potentially harm the patient.

Perry Crabb explains that equipotential grounding should be implemented in all patient care environments. Without this type of grounding, equipment can malfunction and even become dangerously conductive to the wrong surfaces. By grounding all equipment in a hospital room, electricity can easily flow to the correct surfaces without flowing across the wrong ones. While equipotential grounding is recommended in all patient care areas, it is crucial in operating rooms and catherization labs due to the high potential for electrical transfer between machines.

In proper equipotential grounding, all metal surfaces in a room are bonded together, from complex monitoring machines to tables with metal legs. The grounding system is then tested according to industry standards to ensure that everything works properly. These systems require regular maintenance and testing to ensure safety. Electrical Contractor magazine explains that equipotential grounding is also used to secure industrial job sites and to minimize the risk of contractors working in high voltage areas.